With education technology conference season upon us, we asked Showbie’s conference veterans for some actionable tips to help you get the most out of your conference experience.

Showbie Team at Bett
The Showbie team ready to go at Bett 2016

From something as simple as remembering to charge your phone to taking the time to download conference apps, here are five solid conference tips curated by those in the know:

1. Download the conference app and any other apps you’re interested in checking out

Most larger edtech conferences have an app you can download to find helpful information like maps, schedules and upcoming events and presentations.

In addition to the conference app, it’s a great idea to download any apps you know you’ll want to check out ahead of time. That way, when you’re at the booth and ready to get a demo (something you should always ask for!), it saves you precious time.

2. Ask for a live demo

Once you have any interesting apps pre-downloaded, visit their booth and be sure to ask one of their personnel or volunteers for a live demo. Don’t worry about whether they’re prepared or have the time — that’s why they’re there!

3. Get on Twitter

Aside from downloading the conference app, one of the quickest and easiest ways to stay on top of conference information is to create a Twitter account. With a Twitter account, you can follow the conference hashtag for the latest updates from vendors and presenters, and easily tweet them any questions. In addition to following relevant hashtags, following the conference itself gives you the benefit of getting the biggest updates all in one place.

In addition to the above, be sure you always Tweet your thank-you’s to helpful vendors! They’ll appreciate it, and it will help you make connections.

4. Take notes and be prepared to leave contact information

It’s always a good idea to have a pen on hand so you can take notes on brochures when talking to vendors so that you don’t forget key information.

If possible, bring business cards or pre-printed labels with your name and contact information (school, email and Twitter handle) to give to vendors so that they can get in touch with you. This allows you to make memorable connections, especially when things get busy and crowded.

5. Bring your phone/device charger

On top of ensuring your devices are charged and ready to go that morning, bringing a charger is a good idea. Conference days can be long, and you’ll likely be spending a lot of it on your device. You never know when having a charger will come in handy just as you’re about to learn something innovative and new!

So there you have it – five easy tips to get you started on your conference tour. Oh, and also – make sure you wear comfy shoes! (Though that one should go without saying).

As Showbie’s community journalist, Katie is eager to explore the latest information in education and classroom technology. When she isn’t scribing her next story for Showbie, she's researching the next big thing in schools around the world. Email tips and ideas to katie@showbie.com

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